Police were trying to find a possible gunman in the Carroll High School area Monday morning. That prompted the school and two elementary schools to be locked down tight.
Despite the efforts of the Corpus Christi Police Department and CCISD police, along with County Constables, the man was never found; but the event put a real scare into parents who showed up to those schools trying to remove their children from class. The Connecticut school shooting was definitely in the back of their minds.
Kiii News Reporter Michael Gibson went Live from that neighborhood with more on the whether of not those parents believe our schools are safe enough.
At Kostoryz Elementary, which is right next door to Carroll, one of the parents who was inside the school at the time of the lockdown said that, when other parents found out about the lockdown and couldn't get their children out of school, they started beating on the doors, and even shattering the glass on one of those doors, in an effort to get inside. Police were called in to control the situation.
It brings up the question about whether parents believe our schools are really safe.
"Your kids are safe. CCISD and CCPD did a great job," Kostoryz Elementary Principal Angela Portis-Woodson said. "What I need from you is a little bit of patience right now. Everybody is safe."
Portis-Woodson tried to calm the fears of over 100 parents who showed up to the school to get their children. CCISD and CCPD officers were also there to try and control things, after parents apparently tried to force their way into the school after finding out it was on lockdown.
A possible gunman was on the loose, and police surrounded the Carroll High School neighborhood to try and find the man. He was never located, and everyone made it safely home; but all of this played on the fears of parents who were already on edge after the school shooting in Connecticut.
In light of the lockdown, parents like Antonia Villagomez were asked if they would bring their children back to school for the final two days before Christmas break.
"Probably not. I don't think so," Villagomez said. "I'm not comfortable. I'm scared. I'm actually really scared."
At Carroll High School, the lockdown had a number of parents worried about their kids safety, despite the show of force from police and school security officers.
"The way this campus is, the classrooms, it's all open," said Yvonne Rosas, whose kid goes to Carroll. "Anybody can just walk in."
"I sent my son a message. I tried to call him," said Kimber Heslip, another Carroll High School parent. "I know they're not supposed to have mobile phones, but I don't think they're aware that they're on lockdown, and I said, 'Are you okay?', and he said, 'Yes. Why?'"
CCISD Police Chief Kirby Warnke tried to reassure parents at Carroll that the campus was safe and police were doing everything they could to protect them.
"Our schools are safe," Warnke said. "We have tragedies that take place. As a community it affects us all, but in reality, schools are a safe place."
CCPD Captain David Blackmon said that he and his officers are on high alert, and are ready to protect our schools. They are taking any and every threat seriously.
"As you can imagine, after the unfortunate incident in Connecticut, very, very tragic, every state, every school in every state, is on high alert," Blackmon said. "One of these incidents is traumatic. We don't want anymore, so we're taking everyone very seriously."
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